Moody's Investors Service has changed the outlook on the A2 long-term foreign currency deposit rating of National Bank of Kuwait (NBK) to positive from stable.This action follows Moody's change of Kuwait's sovereign ratings outlook to positive earlier this year, in light of the further strengthening of the country's fiscal and external positions and the successful conclusion regarding the succession of the new Emir.The upgrade of NBK’s long-term foreign currency deposit rating was due to the bank's strong performance and continuous growth, as well as to its pioneering position in the local market. NBK has a strong capital base and recorded profits ever since inception in 1952. NBK has recently reported a new record net profit of USD 704 million (KD 206 million) for 2005, up 37% from last year.NBK has consistently earned the highest credit ratings in the Middle East by international agencies including Moody's, Standard & Poor's and FitchRatings, in recognition of its healthy performance, fine asset quality and solid capital base. Rating agencies also praise the depth and stability of NBK's management and its clear strategy as fundamental pillars for the Bank's superior ranking. NBK's total assets reached USD 21.2 billion (KD 6.2 billion) at the end of 2005, while its shareholders' equity stood at USD 2.2 billion (KD 656 million).
Moody's is the world’s oldest rating agency that rates and publishes independent credit opinions on fixed-income securities, issuers of securities and other credit obligations.